One town we stayed in is at the outskirts of the district and diocese where we were staying. It was about 2 hour drive from the Lutheran Centre where we were staying in the city of Iringa. In fact, this was the last stop before we went on safari--not far from the gates of Ruaha National Park. Being so close to the park, there were lions that came through the town some nights and would occasionally eat unprotected livestock. Luckily the incidents involving people were few, but it does happen.
The town is very remote, but it does see travelers and gains income from tourists, but there isn't as much income as the needed, so many take the 5:00 AM bus back to Iringa. The road is so dusty that we Americans wore bandannas to cover our mouths. The road is extremely bumpy that some of us get woozy on our way there. However, people packed onto this commuter bus which went from town to town picking up people to take them to work every day.
On a packed bus.
The people who commuted in this way never complained about it. They were so grateful for the blessing to be able to provide food for their family that they gladly spent 6 hours on a bus to work for 8 hours. And when they got home there were lions!
It put many things in perspective for me. This Lent, many of the musicians are working through a time of gratitude. We are making paper chains that each link is something we are grateful for, big or small. Not only is it a good reminder to be grateful, but our gratitude is linked to others.
Now, since going to Tanzania I still get upset when I get cut off in traffic, but I'm reminded of the great gifts God has given me...a car, great roads, that it reframes getting cut off on the road.
This is our Lenten discipline. What's your Lenten discipline? If you don't have one, I recommend writing down one thing you are grateful for every day. It really helps us to focus on the gifts from God.
Handbell and Choir Director